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So you want an education or career in Caring ? then first you will need some groundwork on the sort of issues that it covers, and whether you think that is the right environment for you.
The politics of disability has changed over the centuries, for the better, by improved access facilities, conducted by predominantly changes in society towards disability (voting power) improved information on disability (by census records on such as the "Prevalence of Disability amongst Adults"and technological advancements such as the neuroscience Institute of Experimental Science, Hungary.
The development of cities and mass water supplies from the Middle Ages led to huge outbreaks of water related disease, which in turn led to the authorities needing to determine the what, where, when, why and who of various outbreaks, such as cholera (which was originally believed to be contagious).
Over time, such authorities mostly in the health fields, took an increasing foothold in the corridors of power, but it was expanded on, as explained by Turner to the changes to the present day;
"Put simply, the doctor has replaced the priest as the custodian of social values: the panoply of ecclesiastical institutions of regulation (the ritual order of sacraments, the places of vocational training, the hospice for pilgrims, places of worship and sanctuary) have been transferred through the evolution of scientific medicine to a panoptic collection of localised agencies of surveillance and control. Furthermore, the rise of preventative medicine, social medicine and community medicine has extended these agencies of regulation deeper and deeper into social life." Turner: 1987 pp. 37-8
A panopticon was a circular prison with a warders post in the centre, which allowed for constant observation and monitoring of the prisoners. Today the term refers more towards exercising total surveillance over the whole of a population. (see Jeremy Bentham). Prior to the more recent civil rights bill on disability in 1993, discrimination against the disabled was rife, indeed comparable to race issues, it would have fallen under the institutional discrimination brolley.
Although Peter Lilley's attempts to gain more independence for the disabled was seen in some quarters as overdue, critics point out that much of the legislation would need case law to fall into actual law of the land (demonstrating the initial legislation as weak).
According to Martyn Denscombe "Over one third of adults in Britain suffer from a long standing illness. Over one in five report that such an illness limits their ability to work..." ( Denscombe: 1999; 31) The General Household Survey revealed two things; despite rises in health provision via the NHS and healthier eating habits, society is getting increasingly ill. Secondly, the weight of the costs to the state (£24 billion in state and disability benefits) explains in no small part Lilley's deferred legislation as the state tries to limit the expansive cost to the taxpayer.
Today the lobby groups of the disabled represent a large minority of voters, but also an increasingly heavy cost to the taxpayer. The ability to float between the two is a difficult job, while health experts still fall into the "let technology provide the answers to disability body" by preferring treatment (such as insulin for diabetes) rather than cures for the ailment.
It is these political, economical and social issues that the carer will have to deal with in a deeply controlled environment, with scant reward for doing so in notoriously low paid employment conditions, long and anti social hours of work (although nursing has improved).
As if that wasn't enough to contend with, you then have to face the patient (or worse parent) who can be the most awkward, difficult, selfish and pedantic customer you are ever likely to meet, (see hospital car parks and waiting rooms where the "severely disabled person" suddenly becomes an olympic athlete at the 'next space' category) alternatively they can be pitifully weak, painfully young, or physically and / or mentally exhausting, sufficient to bring tears to the eyes (see maternity ICU or child cancer wards).
However, just as with a child that has been merciless all day, and then can soften you with a single smile, such is caring, with children being particularly extreme in both difficulty and reward.
With the right "qualifications" and "history," Local Authorities will allow "parenting" for orphans which is another route you may wish to take without formal examinations, but may require a great deal of experience for it to be "successful."
All things being considered, caring is a growing market place, with labour intensive mandates, and costs being pared. It will require the ultimate in your patience, stamina and social challenge, but can also be a thoroughly rewarding experience. The question you have to ask yourself is do you feel up to that commitment ?
My other half is a carer for elderly people, and I can vouch for the fact that she works hard for her pittance (and it is a pittance that most carers for the elderly are paid). I can sit on my backside and earn a king's ransom and she slogs her guts out for other people. Hats off to all carers, and well done for your superb opinion.
vicky27 09.06.2003 02:06
What a very well informative opinion, very nice, thanks mate.